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248        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

" expression 'J of the Divine Being it reaches out after a knowledge
of the world, just as it yearns for the virtue and the piety which
bring it to a knowledge of self and a knowledge of God. And the
universe which seems at first to stand over against man is not an
alien mode of being but is akin to him. " All things have been
harmoniously arranged by God in such a manner that the higher
(in the scale of existence) can be represented by the lower, the
invisible by the visible,"* so that even in its first dealings with
material facts the soul is in touch with the divine order.

In translating this view of man's nature into psychological
terms Comenius follows the Italian philosophers into a crude
sensationalism. *' Since there is nothing in the understanding
whklLJia$_xiQjLr^^                     he says, quoting the familiar

rendering of a doctrine which goes back to Aristotle, " the mind
derives the material for all its thoughts from sense.''f The
implication is that the senses function before the understanding,
which suggests that development takes the form of the successive
activities of different faculties of mind. As a matter of fact, this
doctrine is explicitly stated by Comenius in the Great Didactic
when he is attempting to show how learning and teaching may
be made easier. " The right order of instruction is followed,"
he says, " if boys be made to exercise, first the senses (for this is
easiest), then the memory, next the understanding, and finally
the judgment. For knowledge begins from sense, and passes into
memory through imagination; then the understanding of
universals is reached by induction from particulars ; and finally
comes judgment on the facts of understanding, leading to the
establishment of knowledge." J

Though Comenius was not philosopher enough to know it, the
mystical and the sensationalist strains of thought which he had
adopted from the Italian thinkers were incompatible. The one
led to the view that the spiritual reality of the universe is within
the grasp of the soul from the first, and only awaits experience
to reveal itself in its true character. The other implied that the
soul begins with the material and gradually ascends to the spiritual.
But in the application of these diverse principles to educational
practice Comenius succeeded to a large extent in evading the
contradiction. It is true that there are occasional inconsistencies
in his precepts on method. In one passage he insists that

* Keatinge, p. 187.           t Keatinge, p. 106.           % Keatinge, p. 135.